The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), including the former subspecies known as the Japanese giant hornet (V. m. japonica) is the world's largest hornet. It is native to temperate and tropical East Asia, South Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia, parts of the Russian Far East, and was found in the Pacific Northwest in late 2019, with no reports since to suggest that they have become established there. They prefer to live in low mountains and forests, while almost completely avoiding plains and high-altitude climates.
Name: Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia)
Other names: Japanese giant hornet, murder hornet, giant killer hornet
Species: V. mandarinia
Description: Regardless of sex, the hornet's head is a light shade of orange and its antennae are brown with a yellow-orange base. Its eyes and ocelli are dark brown to black. Vespa mandarinia is distinguished from other hornets by its pronounced clypeus and large genae. Its orange mandible contains a black tooth that it uses for digging. The thorax is dark brown, with two grey wings varying in span from 3.5 to 7.5 cm. Its forelegs are brighter than the mid and hind legs. The base of the forelegs is darker than the rest. The abdomen alternates between bands of dark brown or black and a yellow-orange hue (consistent with its head color). The sixth segment is yellow. Its stinger is up to 10 mm long and contains a potent venom that, in cases of multiple hornets stinging simultaneously, can kill a human. The queens are considerably larger than workers. Queens can exceed 50 mm (2.0 in), while workers are between 35 and 40 mm (1.4 and 1.6 in). The reproductive anatomy is consistent between the two, but workers do not reproduce. Drones (males) are similar to females, but lack a stinger. This is a consistent feature among Hymenoptera.
Distribution: The hornet can be found in the Primorsky Krai, Khabarovsky Krai (southern part only) and Jewish AO regions of Russia, Korea (where it is called 장수말벌 "general officer hornet"), China, Taiwan (simplified Chinese: 虎头蜂; traditional Chinese: 虎頭蜂; literally: 'tiger head bee'), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, but it is most common in rural areas of Japan, where it is called ōsuzumebachi (大雀蜂, "giant sparrow bee").
Venom/Stings: Fatalities from envenomation are primarily related to anaphylactic shock or cardiac arrest. Deaths have occurred as a result of multiple organ failure, typically after a large number of stings. All sting victims exhibited signs of skin hemorrhaging and necrosis, though both are otherwise rare.
Dymadex's blogs on bugs, including insects and arachnids. Insects are hexapod invertebrates like ants, beetles, bees, and flies. Arachnids are joint-legged invertebrates like spiders, scorpions, ticks, and harvestmen. Other organisms in this blog include centipede, millipede, and worms.
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